Slow Cooker Braised Short Ribs

Serves 4
-4 lbs beef short ribs
-1 teaspoon each salt and pepper
-1 teaspoon vegetable oil
-3 shallots, chopped
-2 stalks celery, chopped
-2 carrots, chopped
-4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
-1 1/2 cups beef stock
-2 tablespoons cornstarch
Spice Bag:
-2 tablespoons toasted coriander seeds
-2 tablespoons crumbled toasted star anise
-2 tablespoons chopped lemongrass
-1 tablespoon toasted black peppercorns
-1 tablespoon toasted cumin seeds
-1 tablespoon peeled and chopped ginger root
-1 teaspoon chopped lime rind
Preheat your slow cooker to high heat. Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; brown ribs in batches, about 8 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker. While ribs are browning, combine all the ingredients for the spice bag in a reusable spice bag or a square of cheese cloth secured with kitchen twine. Set aside. In the same skillet, fry onion, celery, carrots and garlic over medium heat until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Pour in beef stock along with 1 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil, scraping up brown bits. Pour over ribs in slow cooker and add the spice bag. Cover and cook the meat for 5-6 hours on high, or until the meat is fork-tender. Transfer the ribs to an oven proof pan and discard spice bag. Keep warm in a 250 degree F oven. Strain pan juices through a sieve into a medium saucepan, gently pressing solids; let stand for 5 minutes. Skim fat off the juices in the pot and bring to a boil. Boil until reduced to 2 1/2 cups, about 12 minutes. Stir the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons cold water; whisk into sauce. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring, until slightly thickening, about 2 minutes. Lightly brush about 1/4 of the sauce over the ribs and serve the rest on the side.

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